11 April, 2011 at 7:20 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , )

Before I spend endless amounts of time painting (because I am the slowest of all painters) I spend endless amounts of time deciding what to paint. My paintings are layers of images, and I draw, paint and photograph all the components separately then occasionally sift through the piles looking for pieces to combine.

This is the palest-green butterfly that flew in to the house one evening last summer and was caught under a wineglass before being released back outside. I love the way the insect floats, seemingly unsupported, but I don’t know yet how I will use it.

To go with the butterfly I’ll need a sample of handwriting, which will be disguised so most words cannot be read.

Some architecture, or maybe part of a map?

Background colour.

Or maybe toss all that and go with flowers and a fragment of handwritten poem or a letter?

While I am combining the visual pieces, their meanings also come together in a narrative which determines subsequent choices and also what part of each image will be obscured. It tells me which words should be legible, and the title. Nothing of this is recorded, because I think each viewer develops their own relationship with a picture, and knowing the artist’s ideas is not necessary.

With all the parts chosen I sit down to make sketches until the pieces knit together, then it’s finally time to start painting.

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19 November, 2009 at 9:18 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, Uncategorized, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

An experiment gone awry.

I love a bit of decay incorporated into things, which is why I love old buildings, Michael Eastman’s photos, and the furniture I inherited (although a small fund to keep the chairs glued and un-wobbly would have been a good thing to inherit along with). I’ve been working on a way to include that in some of my pieces, but how best to partially destroy my work?

Here is a piece I’ve been wreaking minor destruction on, pre-destruction:

It definitely needs some decay, so I go to work on it, trying to balance giving it some integrity while still leaving it vulnerable:

Then I become Kali, speeding up the destructive force of time, and the result is:

Far too much decay!

Tomorrow, back to the easel, so to speak. I will repair it to wreak (less) havoc on it another day.

At least it won’t need this treatment:

Done to erase the result of another experiment. One not to be repeated.

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15 November, 2009 at 1:16 am (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


A day of frustration – my materials were not in the mood to do what I wanted today. I knew exactly what I was trying to achieve, but couldn’t get the spark I was going for with the ink, pencil, encaustic and other pigments at hand. I’m sure that, along with the intimidation of a blank page, this is not a rare experience.

Part of my frustration is I’d like to do a couple larger pieces to go along with this series (so far they are 5″x8″, 6″x7″, and smaller – tiny!), but on the bigger pieces things keep warping and going astray. New materials are only 20 minutes away at Dick Blick, but this is not a good time for me to go because I tend to get distracted and find myself with a basket full of gold leaf, sheets of nickel, and a better riveting hammer when that is not what I am supposed to be working on right now.

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moth letter

13 November, 2009 at 9:46 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

moth letter

I am working on some butterfly/moth + flower images this week, this is the one closest to being finished.

I’ve been experimenting with encaustic and layers of vellum and paper, I love how the vellum resists ink, gathering it up, making the image even more translucent. The ones that turned out best had pale colours and a limited palette.

Time is limited because I’m getting a lot of small pieces ready for a show, so back to the bugs…

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19 October, 2008 at 12:07 am (quote) (, )

‘You will ask — what is the feeling of hatching? Oh, no doubt, there is a rush of panic to the head, a thrill of breathlessness and strange sensation, but then the eyes see, in a flow of sunshine, the butterfly sees the world, the large and awful face of the gaping entomologist.’

..Vladimir Nabokov

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